For the avid firearm collector or gun owner, there are few better investments than the purchase of a quality gun safe. A secure gun safe not only provides excellent storage for a homeowner’s firearms but keeps these firearms safe from burglars as well as fire.
In essence, the purchase of a gun safe is excellent insurance against difficult, and unforeseen circumstances.
However, gun safe ownership also comes with its own unique set of challenges, which often require creative solutions to overcome. One such challenge is that associated with determining how best to situate a gun safe, that is to be placed on top of a hardwood floor.
While laminate or wood flooring tends to be quite striking, it can also be easily damaged or scuffed by heavy furniture. This, at times, presents quite an issue for the average gun safe owner.
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The Challenges Of Placement On Hardwood
Under ideal circumstances, every gun safe would be placed on a heavy duty concrete slab, alleviating any concerns over potential floor damage. However, in the real world, this is not always possible.
In absence of a concrete floor, many gun owners are left to position their safes over any segment of hardwood flooring that adjoins a load-bearing outside wall.
The downside of this scenario is that a heavy gun safe can quickly damage the finish of a wood floor, in both the short and long term. While any floor constructed to code should be up to the task of supporting a gun safe’s weight, the finish of a hardwood floor can easily become damaged.
This can occur when moving a gun safe into position, or when leaving a safe to sit in a single location for a lengthy period of time.
The movement of a 500-plus pound safe can quickly scratch any finished surface, with that of a hardwood floor being no exception. Additionally, the weight of a gun safe can quickly indent pieces of hardwood flooring, as wood is compressed beneath.
The resulting damage can be quite unsightly, and difficult to repair, though the affected area’s floor joists and subfloor will be left uncompromised.
The only true way to prevent such damage from taking place is by creating a buffer between a hardwood floor and the safe itself. There are multiple ways to implement a buffer of this type, though it takes a certain level of creativity to find the perfect solution, as it pertains to your particular circumstances.
Preserving Your Hardwood Floor
The following are several effective solutions for creating a buffer between your hardwood floor and gun safe. Each of these solutions can be applied in almost any application, with a minimal expense involved.
Piece Of Carpet
A piece of carpet makes an excellent buffer to prevent flooring damage under the weight of a gun safe, assuming that any flooring chosen is of sufficient thickness. In most cases, carpet used for this purpose should be no less than ¼-inch thick, with a carpet of a greater thickness being even better.
The great thing about this option is that small sections of scrap carpet can often be sourced from local carpet stores for little to no cost. This makes the use of carpet when placing a gun safe on hardwood flooring, into a win, win proposition.
Carpet is also relatively easy to slide beneath a gun safe, during the initial delivery process.
Rubber mats work quite well when attempting to protect your home’s hardwood floors from the weight of a new gun safe. Mats of this type come in a number of sizes, shapes, and configurations, making it easier than ever to locate a product that is sure to fit your needs.
Rubber mats of varying thicknesses can typically be purchased for a minimal fee, therefore serving as a cost effective solution to your issue.
Recently, many gun safe owners have begun using specialty products, such as stall mats, when placing their gun safe within their homes. These mats are quite thick, and readily absorb even the heaviest of weights, due to their cushion-style design.
This drastically reduces the transfer of weight to a home’s hardwood flooring.
Piece Of Plywood
Plywood also makes an excellent buffer, when attempting to prevent damage to any hardwood floor. Plywood can be sourced from almost any home improvement or hardware store, and can generally be purchased for a relatively subdued price.
Plywood also comes in a wide range of thicknesses, making it simple to purchase the perfect piece of material, no matter the total weight of your gun safe.
While plywood is not as soft as a piece of carpet or a rubber mat, it is more than capable of absorbing shock and weight when sitting a safe down on top of it. Additionally, plywood can be purchased in a fire-resistant form, while not entirely fireproof, plywood sheets of this type will at least minimize the spread of fire in close proximity to your gun safe.
Lighter gun safes, such as those often stored on the second floor of a home, can typically be stored on a wooden pallet. These pallets elevate a safe above floor level, thereby eliminating safe to floor contact.
A smaller safe can even be affixed to the top of a pallet by bolting it in place, with the use of lag bolts and washers, which can be set to pre-applied drill holes. This assists in stabilizing a safe, even when elevated off the floor.
Though a wooden pallet might not be one’s idea of fine home decor, a blanket or rug can be draped across this makeshift base, thereby covering it from view. Alternatively, a pallet can be stained prior to use as a base and its surface carpeted, in a bid to give off a more rustic look.
One creative solution to minimizing hardwood floor damage, that has been employed by crafty individuals on more than one occasion, involves placing the corners of a gun safe on hockey pucks. Hockey pucks are constructed of vulcanized rubber and are extremely durable, but will not etch or scratch a hardwood floor’s finish.
Pucks of this type can be sourced from most any sporting good store, at a relatively cheap price.
Hockey pucks have even proven to stand up to the weight of even the heaviest of gun safes, without exhibiting any notable signs of breakdown. This presents a straightforward, yet long-term solution to the needs of many gun owners across the world.
Minimizing Collateral Damage
The purchase of a gun safe is certainly worth making. However, purchasing the best gun safe to suit your needs is only half the battle.
Prior to accepting delivery of your new gun safe, it is imperative to have a plan in place. Part of this plan should revolve around determining the type of surface that your safe is to be situated upon.
If this surface happens to be of a hardwood composition, additional planning is in store.
By implementing any of the above strategies, you will be able to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with gun safe ownership, without any worry of damaging your home’s flooring. As such, you can rest assured that your firearms and ammo, as well as your floor, are protected from harm.